I’d heard tale of this cake for many moons before I finally tried making it myself. The thought of using an entire half-cup of fancy and expensive extra-virgin olive oil in a cake was what put me off it for so long. Fortunately, after 3+ years of cooking for a living, my miserly ways have become dulled so much that when I received a 10 pound bag of homegrown Meyer lemons from my friend Kristina and a lemon olive oil cake was suggested by a community member, I didn’t even bat an eye.
This is a not-too-sweet cake that works well for breakfast or tea or snacking. If you’d like to make it a little fancier, you can drizzle with the lemon glaze from this lemon pound cake recipe or top with a spoonful of whipped cream. You know what else would go well and be stunning next to a slice of this cake? A scoop of this grape ice cream. Because of all the oil, this cake stays perfectly soft and delicious several days after baking.
Oh! And one more thing, I normally hate when people specify “organic” or “grass-fed” or “high-quality”-whatever in recipes and I avoid it as if it were the plague and I almost always stop reading recipes that use adjectives like that because in almost all cases, it makes no difference to the recipe at all. But, I do think it’s relevant here. I used 4 pasture-raised eggs in the cake I made for the photos on this recipe post. If you’ve ever done a side-by-side comparison of pasture-raised eggs vs standard eggs you’ll see a marked difference in the color of the yolks; the former being much deeper goldenrod yellow than the latter. This quality is what gives the cake such a beautiful lemon-yellow color. So, there’s that. If you want a pretty yellow cake like this one, use some fancy expensive eggs to go with your fancy expensive olive oil and fancy (and free in my case) Meyer lemons. Make a fancy cake!
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Oil a 9-10" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set oven to 350ºF.
- Whip eggs and sugar together on high speed until fluffy and very pale, almost white (about 5 minutes).
- Turn speed to low and stream in oil, lemon juice and zest and vanilla (I mix these all together in a large measuring cup with a spout and pour them in).
- Whisk flour and dry ingredients together and fold these in by hand. The mixture will be very fluffy and foamy.
- Pour into prepared springform pan and bake 350 for 45 minutes. The top will become quite brown, as will the edges.
- Allow to cool 30 minutes in the pan, then unhook and remove from pan, cool completely on a rack.
- Cake keeps at room temperature, covered, for up to 7 days without suffering loss of texture or quality.
For more recipes using Meyer lemons, check out Kristina’s site: GirlGoneGrits! She’s got a HUGE Meyer lemon tree in her yard and every year spreads the lemon love throughout Austin, collecting the recipes we all create on her site.